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Dubrovnik – turnaraund port for Thomson Cruise

Port of Dubrovnik again homeport for large ships!
PRESS RELEASE

(Dubrovnik, 7 May 2014) Press conference was held today on board Thomson Majesty in Port of Gruž in Dubrovnik regarding the positioning of the Port of Dubrovnik as the turnaround port for the ship Thomson Celebration in 2015. In addition to the hosts, Thomson Cruises and Gulliver travel, representatives of the Dubrovnik Port Authority, Port of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik Airport, City of Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Dubrovnik-Neretva County Tourist Board, the conference was also attended by the Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia Ivo Bašić, Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahušić, representatives of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, County Port Authority, Dubrovnik County Chamber and Dubrovnik Customs Office, together with the media. 
The importance of positioning Dubrovnik as the turnaround port - homeport for the Thomson Celebration ship in 2015 lies in the fact that this is the way to extend the stay of tourists in the area and the benefits for the local economy. Dubrovnik is the departure port for smaller ships with up to hundred passengers, and this is the first time since 2003 it will serve as the turnaround port for a ship of this capacity. The experience of other destinations shows that majority of guests continues their stay in the area after disembarking, as part of pre and post cruise programs (programs where guests together with the "cruise package" also buy a seven-day stay in the destination of the port). Save for those directly included in the process (agency, Dubrovnik Port Authority, Port of Dubrovnik and Dubrovnik Airport), this should also benefit a whole number of other local factors: hoteliers, airlines, caterers, agencies, tax and other fees, etc. 
This is what some of the press conference participants said. 
Neil Duncan, General Director of Thomson and Island Cruises: “Thomson Cruises is excited to announce the Croatian city of Dubrovnik as the turnaround port for Thomson Celebration in 2015. Not only will we offer our clients the unique opportunity to embark the ship at this beautiful destination, we will also present four new itineraries that will provide them with the opportunity to explore other Croatian pearls, such as Korčula, Hvar and Rovinj.”
Goran Hrnić, CEO of Gulliver travel: “This is a big day for Dubrovnik and the start of realizing our aspirations for Dubrovnik to become the turnaround port for large ships and to extend the stay of guests at the destination by seven days. This is the result of common efforts and excellent service provided by Dubrovnik Port Authority and Dubrovnik Airport.” 
dr. sc. Antun Asić, captain, Director of Dubrovnik Port Authority: “For the first time after the reconstruction of the coast, the Port of Dubrovnik got an opportunity to provide turnaround port service to larger ships on their cruises. We should primarily use this opportunity, together with our partners, to acquire new know-how, so that we could expand in the future and become a recognizable turnaround port for a certain cruise ship niche.”  
Božidar Memed, Director of the Port of Dubrovnik: “First of all, we would like to emphasize that we are glad the cruise company Thomson Cruises chose the Port of Dubrovnik as the homeport or the turnaround port for the ship Thomson Celebration in 2015. Dubrovnik is known in the maritime world as one of the first ports that started cultivating cruise ship tourism and we would like to present it in the best possible light and in the best possible way. The importance of homeport also extends to other activities, such as provision of services, together with entire contents of the City of Dubrovnik, which opens space for the development of new ideas, possibilities and business. We hope to continue successful business cooperation with Thomson Cruises, and wishing guests to enjoy our city and for them to want to return. 
Miho Miljanić, Director of Dubrovnik Airport Traffic: “The management of Dubrovnik Airport and all its employees are extremely pleased that the City of Dubrovnik will become a homeport, or turnaround port, for such established company as Thomson Cruises, whereby our airport will also play an important role. In terms of staff, technology and infrastructure, we are fully prepared for arrival and departure of passengers and aircraft flights planned for this operation, and will make every effort to ensure providing the highest level of service to all customers. We are particularly pleased with the fact that the introduction of new flights related to this operation will result in an increase in passenger traffic of about two percent for The Dubrovnik Airport in FY 2015.“
Romana Vlašić, Director of the City of Dubrovnik Tourist Board: “Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik welcomes the decision of Thomson Cruises to choose Dubrovnik as the homeport of the ship Thomson Celebration and would like to welcome the ship, crew members and all of its passengers, future guests in our city. The role of Dubrovnik as a turnaround port for cruise ships is of multiple importance for the whole destination, and it will benefit all – from the airport, to hotels and other subjects involved in tourism. Dubrovnik is certainly an excellent solution for this purpose, that can additionally position itself with its attractions and logistical conditions and justify the trusts it was given.”  
Ivo Bašić, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism of the Republic of Croatia: “This is an extremely good news for Croatian tourism, as it will get the guests to extend their stay in Croatia before or after the cruise. We believe that when they see the magnificent views of Dubrovnik, they will wish to stay even longer. We wish to position Croatia not only as the land of sun and sea, but also to build other types of tourism. This is the land of a thousand islands, thousand castles, country with beautiful nature and rich cultural heritage and hospitable hosts. All guests of the Thomson Celebration are invited to try the local cuisine, enjoy wellness, active tourism, adventure tourism, etc. and of course to return to our country as guests for longer periods of time.”  
Thomson Celebration will have a total of 26 weeks of operation (Thursdays) with the exchange of guests in the Port of Dubrovnik.  The first arrival (call) will be on 7 May 2015. Save for Dubrovnik, the ship will call on other Croatian ports as well: Korčula (7 calls), Hvar (6 calls), Split (7 calls), Šibenik (7 calls), Zadar (7 calls) and Rovinj (7 calls). Another ship of  Thomson Cruises - Thomson Majesty will call on Croatian ports. Majesty has included the following ports in its itinerary: Dubrovnik (10 calls), Split (6 calls) and Rijeka (4 calls). In 2014,  Thomson Cruises will have a total of 26 calls and in 2015 it will have 87 calls in Croatia. Thomson Celebration is a ship for families with children, with capacity of 1.254 passengers and 520 crew members. It was built in April 1984, and refurbished in May 2005. The length of the ship is 214.60 m. Thomson Cruises has 5 ships that make its fleet: Thomson Celebration, Thomson Dream, Thomson Majesty, Thomson Spirit and Island Escape. 
 
07/05/2014